Some Ojai Music Festival Highlights
1947 – First concert May 4, followed by a play May 18 and another concert June 4.
1954 – Lawrence Morton becomes the first Artistic Director.
1955 – Igor Stravinsky conducts his own works at the Festival.
1957 – Libbbey Bowl opens. Aaron Copland makes his Ojai debut.
1965 – Features 19-year-old pianist Michael Tilson Thomas.
1970 - First American performance of Domaines by Pierre Boulez. The Los Angeles Philharmonic makes its Ojai debut.
1973 – Minimalism highlighted with West Coast premiers by John Cage and Steve Reich. Annual jazz concerts begin.
1982 – Music Director Robert Craft celebrates Stravinsky Centennial.
1985 – New Music Director Kent Nagano highlights the music of Olivier Messiaen.
1992 – Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat is re-staged by Peter Sellars. It uses inner-city actors and the back of a flatbed pick-up truck on set. Ara Guzelimian is named Artistic Director.
1993 – John Adams as first time Music Director highlights the work of Cage, Reich, and Gorecki.
1996 – The 50th Ojai Music Festival is led by Pierre Boulez.
1999 – Esa-Pekka Salonen in Ojai debut creates a program dedicated to Finnish music.
2004 – Kent Nagano returns with his Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. Thomas W. Morris begins as the Festival’s fourth Artistic Director.
2006 – Composer Osvaldo Golijov is featured during the Ojai debut of Music Director Robert Spano.
2008 – David Robertson's first Festival as Music Director. The centerpiece is the music of composer Steve Reich.
2011 – New Libbey Bowl opens. Music Director Dawn Upshaw highlights several world premieres. Ojai North! launches, bringing concerts to UC Berkeley.
2014 – Music Director Jeremy Denk features the world premiere of a comic opera.
2016 – Peter Sellars returns as Music Director with a US premiere and two world premiers.
2017 – Vijay Iyer makes his Festival debut, bringing a diverse community of new artists to Ojai.
2018 – Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja as Music Director features premiers and new works.
2019 – Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris’ final year after a 16-year legacy.
2021 -Festival returns but in September after 2 year pandemic shutdown. Composure/conductor John Adams lead the kick-off to the Festival's 75th anniversary season.